Textile and Metal Artist
Artist Statement: Through my Hmong American experience, my work reflects my identity and stories through materiality, object, and adornment. While living in-between cultures, I look at the navigation, negotiation, and reclaiming of my Hmong cultural identity within a dominant nation state. I research and look at Hmong history through the lens of assimilation, migration, colonization that reflects loss, commodification, and resilience of being Hmong. Aspects of materials, process, and traditional Hmong crafts are carefully considered and utilized throughout my work, which connects both cultural identity. Traditional Hmong story cloths were created during our time in the refugee camps. They are visual narratives that document and tell our history, culture, and identity. Throughout the piece, the white, blank spaces represent the loss and erasure of identity throughout history. Each piece reflects our migration from one place to another from our time in Laos to Thailand and then to the US. Having grown up within an American mindset, I look at ways to reclaim my Hmong identity as I relearn my cultural roots. Documenting our history through textiles and objects have been ways to preserve my Hmong identity, culture, and history. As stateless people progressing through dominant spaces, I look at ways to tell and connect our stories of our past, present, and future.
Artist Bio: Ger Xiong was born in Thailand and immigrated to the United States in 1993 as a Hmong refugee of the Vietnam War. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Metals and Jewelry at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater in 2017 and his Master of Fine Arts at New Mexico State University projected to graduate in Spring 2021. He works within the discipline of textiles, adornment, and metals that looks at his navigation of cultural identity through the lens and history of colonization, assimilation, and erasure of Hmong history. Ger received a ten-month Fulbright Fellowship from 2019-2020 to research and collaborate with Hmong artisans working in silversmithing and textiles in Chiang Mai, Thailand and continues to exhibit his work regionally and nationally.